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  1. #1
    Loop Guest

    Default Emergency methadone treatment

    Hey guys,I was emailed this t'other day,thought it'd be of great interest!

    National Alliance of Methadone Advocates (NAMA)
    For Immediate Release

    Date: January 12, 2004
    Contact: Joycelyn Woods and Walter Ginter
    Phone: (212) 595-6262


    NAMA has been involved in a Methadone Emergency Database Project which will
    create a way to verify a patient’s dose in the case of an emergency. Now we
    hear that the Methadone Emergency Database Project, which we have been referring
    to as the “Patients Dignity Project”, is not going to be funded. Apparently,
    patient dignity, specifically, methadone patient dignity doesn’t have the
    support necessary.

    Why This Is Project Called The Patient Dignity Project?

    The reason we call it the patient dignity project is that it will allow
    patients to go to any program and eventually any hospital and get their medicine
    immediately in the event of an emergency. Currently, in an emergency, patients
    have to wait hours to have their doses verified. When that is not possible, and
    most times it is not, patients are given a few milligrams at a time by
    worried physicians. Patients are left begging for hours for more medication.

    But MORE OFTEN THEY AREN’T MEDICATED AT ALL forcing many patients back to the
    streets from which they are escaping. That is why advocates call this the

    After September 11 many of us at NAMA became concerned about what would
    happen to methadone patients in the event of similar crisis. A number of groups,
    including NAMA formed a stakeholder committee to look into possible solutions
    for this problem and to insure that patients would never be turned away from
    programs again.

    The Methadone Emergency Database Project

    Patients need a way to get their medication in times of an emergency. The
    project, funded by the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) has just
    completed its report and is ready to advance to a demonstration project in the New
    York, New Jersey, and Connecticut area. The report calls for the establishment
    of an emergency database that could be accessed only in the presence of the
    patient requesting his or her medication at a place other then the patients
    home program. The project calls for the use of a finger imaging system that
    besides being inexpensive and easy to maintain fully protects the rights, privacy
    and dignity of the patients.

    NAMA has visited programs in the states involved. The patients interviewed
    were 100% in favor of the project.

    What Happens Without The Methadone Emergency Database Project

    In the past 2 years there have been at least 3 major emergencies, where
    despite the “emergencies plans” called for in the Accreditation Guidelines
    patients were left for between 1 and 3 days without medication. The Presidents Day
    Storm where at least 9 programs failed to open in the Mid Atlantic states, the
    east coast blackout, and the recent northeaster where hundreds of patients in
    Boston were left without medication despite repeated warnings about severe

    NAMA is aware that many patients were forced to resort to heroin during those
    emergencies. There is no way to tell the ultimate impact that this had on
    patients being forced into using again. Whatever the effects they can’t be good.

    If an emergency database were available those patients could have gone to any
    program, and eventually any emergency room, to get their medicine.

    What Should Happen Next?

    The next stage is just a demonstration project and admittedly it will be
    several years before all the kinks are ironed out and it is ready to go national.
    But this is the start of a strategy to insure that ALL patients are able to
    get their medication no matter the crisis. By not being funded the project will
    be delayed further and we can’t wait another thirty-five years.

    NAMA believes that this project is important and should take precedence over
    other projects. We encourage all advocates, methadone patients, friend

  2. #2
    Rohan is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Santa Barbara, California, USA.


    Thanks for posting that Loop! Let's hope that they really get moving on this. You know, sometimes you don't think about things until you need to, but we had an earthquake last month (I live in California)
    and I had a passing thought about what would I or anyother methadone patient do if you were unable to get to your clinic to dose or pick up meds due to a disaster or accident. This is a valuable article, thanks again! :)

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